The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation, (M-CODE), has called for an increase in the capitation grant for basic schools to 45 Ghana Cedis.
According to the Coalition, the current allocation of 9 Ghana cedis per pupil for an academic year is woefully inadequate especially for the maintenance of water and sanitation facilities.
At a joint News Conference by the Media Coalition Against Open Defecation and the Ghana Coalition of NGOs in Water and Sanitation in Accra, A member of M-CODE Cecil Obadai Wentum said government should develop a clear roapmap for closing the 30 per cent access gap in the provision of toilet facilities in public schools by 2022.
The joint news conference follows a tour by members of M-CODE to inspect toilet facilities in a number of public basic schools which were constructed under the GAMA Project about six months ago. The Coalition was not impressed with the level of maintenance of the facilities in all 4 schools.
This was generally due to the inability of school authorities to generate funds for maintenance. The Coalition is therefore calling for a budgetary allocation for the operation and maintenance of Water and Sanitation facilities in public schools. A member of the Coalition who is also the host of the Uniiq Breakfast Drive, Cecil Obodai Wentum made some recommendations.
“the total grant of 9 Cedis per pupil per year is woefully inadequate. According to the GAMA Project, it would recquire an estimated cost of 45 cedis per pupil per year to operate and maintain a six seater water closet toilet for 300 pupils. We also suggesting that government should develop a strategy to absorb the cost of water and electricity supply to every public basic school as a component of the free education policy”
Patron for the Coalition Dr. Doris Yaa Dartey said the issue of open defecation is complex.
“How learned are u when after u flash your toilet its collected and dumped at the Tema Motorway. That too is open defecation. The way we hadle human excreta is not good.”
The Media Coalition Against Open Defecation and the Coalition of NGOs in the Water and Sanitation Sector reiterated commitments to intensify collaboration to ensure that Open defecation is a thing of the past.
Story by Nathaniel Nartey